Timeliness has gained growing importance in international trade. This paper provides empirical evidence on the significant cost of time in trade by exploiting the quasi-experimental nature of the European Union (EU) enlargement in 2004. It applies a difference-in-difference-in-differences econometric strategy on a European industry-level database of bilateral trade barriers, where industries are differentiated according to their time sensitivity. The use of a treatment intensity indicator that captures the decline in the waiting time at borders supports the identification. Results are cross-checked on subsamples defined along transport mode choice probabilities, where intra-EU transport mode choice projections are obtained from an estimated discrete choice model on extra-EU trade. Robustness checks experiment with alternative definitions of treatment sensitivity and treatment intensity.
time cost of trade difference-in-difference-in-differences estimation treatment intensity EU enlargement transport mode choice